Military members increased reporting of sexual assault cases in 2016

Sexual assault reports at Maryland military bases increase

The Department of Defense provides numbers of sexual assault reports made by service members and their dependents as well as civilian employees at all USA military installations.

The Army post with the most reports of sexual assaults in fiscal 2016 was Fort Hood, Texas, with 199; the most in the Navy in fiscal 2016 was Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, with 270; and the most in the Marine Corps that year was 169 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The latest figures show that the prevalence rate of sexual assault has been on the decline.

As to combat areas, Afghanistan received 295 sexual assault reports from fiscal 2013 to 2016, higher than any other country that has USA military presence.

Officials said the Army has worked to establish a professional victim response system to encourage increased reporting, provide top-notch medical and psychological care, and legal resources to ensure victims are protected.

The Air Force and Navy were the only two that recorded an increase in reports.

The new data show a consistency among the installations handling the most sexual assault cases year-to-year, which include some of the military's largest posts. The Pentagon said it estimates that, in 2016, less than a third of service members who experienced a sexual assault reported it.

At any point in time, a DoD victim may choose to change their filed restricted report to an unrestricted report. Then there was a slight decline previous year to 114. That number jumps up to 59 in 2015 and 44 in 2016. Once this occurs, "The allegation is then referred for investigation and commander (s) of the reporting Service member and alleged perpetrator are notified". The Defense Sexual Assault Incident Database (DSAID) was authorized by Congress in 2009 and fully implemented in 2013. "This kind of flexibility allows the department to better meet the department's goals to increase reporting of sexual assault and decrease the occurrence of the crime through prevention." said Galbreath.

It found that between 2013 and 2016, 8,896 complaints of sexual assault were made in the Air Force and nearly as many, 8,294, were made in the Army, the largest branch of the Armed Forces. "A report could involve allegations for an incident that occurred while on deployment, while away on leave, or even prior to entering the military", he said.

In 2016, data showed a decrease from 6.1 percent of active duty women in 2012 to 4.3 percent in 2016, and from 1.2 percent of active duty men in 2012 to 0.6 percent in 2016.

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